The current business landscape is very dense and, some would go as far as to say, unforgiving. In such a climate, the perceptions of what makes a successful business are rapidly changing. Today, having a solid business model and an appealing product is not a guarantee of prosperity. Today, climbing to the top of the food chain means outperforming the competitors down to the most menial tasks on a daily basis.
This level of performance can be accomplished only if we take serious steps to improve the company’s efficiency. Let’s take a quick at a couple of ways we can do that.
Automate menial tasks
Regardless of the industry, every company in existence is based on the slow paperwork and myriads of other mundane duties that are taking a huge bite out of the employees’ time and concentration, resulting in reduced efficiency. To avoid this common issue, try to identify all of the tasks that can be streamlined or completely automated and act accordingly. In case of full automation, don’t feel discouraged by the price of the up-front investment. Your expenses will pay off in the following months.
Multitasking has often been described as one of the best ways of improving workplace efficiency. However, recent research suggests that, with rare exceptions, human beings aren’t capable of performing multiple tasks without a decline in performance. So, instead of forcing your employees to juggle several different duties at once, you should work on delegating the responsibilities more efficiently and arranging schedules so that everyone has an opportunity to perform obligations uninterrupted and in succession.
Outsource non-vital duties
Since they exist in a complicated, interlocked environment, all businesses are forced to partake in activities that often go beyond their field of expertise. Developing the infrastructure to deal with these issues in-house is a slow and expensive process. Because of that, all these duties should be outsourced. For instance, companies such as Datazoo can take much better care of the increasingly complex task of customer verification than any of your employees. The same goes for marketing, bookkeeping and similar assignments.
Set up the mechanisms for measuring and improving efficiency
Although often used very loosely, the term efficiency actually stands for the ratio of the useful work in relation to invested time and effort, which makes it a very measurable quality. So, if you want to properly identify efficiency gaps and obstacles, you should set up a universal system that will evaluate the efficiency of your employees down to the most mundane tasks. Once the problems are identified, however, you should have a prepared set of measures designed for addressing these issues.
Encourage open communication
A slow flow of information can impact the company’s level of efficiency in more than one manner. First, there is the problem of reduced operational speed and informational bottlenecks. The second, potentially even bigger problem is that the lack of free and transparent communication encourages distrust and an atmosphere of secrecy. These issues should be cut at the root by establishing an efficient communication infrastructure and encouraging free speech and honest opinions.
Be realistic and know when to stop
Finally, you have to be aware of two things. First, operational efficiency is just one means to a shared goal – business growth. If taken out of context and enforced to the detriment of other important factors such as employee satisfaction, insisting on relentless efficiency can prove to be a devastating obstacle to your company’s day-to-day operations. The second thing to remember is that operational efficiency can be improved only to a certain point. Pushing beyond it is highly counterproductive.
These six tips are far from a complete picture, but they still offer a perfectly good insight into the welcome practices that have a positive influence on a company’s operational efficiency. If you manage to build this elusive quality into the core of all of the activities your organization needs to perform on a daily basis, your chances of keeping the competition at bay will be far better.